tax information

Did you know that ALL international students & scholars must complete tax forms in the U.S.?

Yes, every international student & scholar (including F-2 and J-2 dependents) is legally required to complete tax forms each year, even if they do not work.

The Office of International Education and Services (IES) does not provide tax advice. This page is for informational purposes only. The information below will help you understand your F1 / J1 visa holder tax obligations. If tax filing or forms are not correctly filed, you could be penalized, assessed fees and have difficulties renewing your visa or with change of status.

The taxation agency of the U.S. federal government is the Internal Revenue Service, commonly called the “IRS". The IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens is the official publication on taxes.

IES personnel are not tax professionals and cannot take responsibility for mistakes on any tax returns. Southeast Missouri State University, its employees, and affiliates accept no liability for any errors or omissions to information available through its web sites. You are advised to contact a tax professional, if you have questions or concerns that cannot be addressed by IES, at your expense.

Important Tax Information
  • Do NOT file your taxes online unless you use specific international student tax software. A paper-based form must be printed, signed and mailed to the IRS at a physical PO Box address provided in the form instructions. This means NO “E-Filing” through online services.
  • Nonresident aliens are not eligible to receive educational credit. This means, international students who are considered nonresident aliens are not eligible to use/file 1098-T received from SFS.
  • Nonresident alien married to another nonresident alien must file separately
  • International students could be resident aliens based on their individual “Substantial Presence Test”
  • Keep copies of ALL tax documents. You may need these in the future.
Who is a nonresident alien?

A nonresident alien is an alien who has not passed the green card test or the “Substantial Presence Test”. This can be determined using the tax preparation service offered by IES if you had income. If you did NOT receive income, see Form 8843 in section below. Most international students and scholars are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes.

If you were present in the U.S. last year and did not receive any U.S. income, you must complete the Federal 8843 form. Referenced below are two different options to help you. The linked form and instructions will help you complete the Form 8843 manually. The instructions include the University's address and contact information. Otherwise, you may opt to use the 8843 wizard tool found online. Read the instructions for either option you select to use. 

Form 8843 is not an income tax return form. It is a document required by the U.S. government for F and J visa holders to declare their nonresident status. It is also called, ‘Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition’.

If you were present in the U.S. last year and had income, you are required to file a tax return (Federal and State). Income includes wages, recipient of grant/fellowship/scholarship, interest from investments, prize or award payments, lottery or gambling winnings, other types of non-wages income.

Tax Treaty Exemption Benefit - If you had no income as a result of the tax treaty benefit and were not eligible to receive a W-2, please review 'DID NOT Have Income' section above.

Federal Tax Filing Requirements

Nonresident aliens must file Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ. This is a paper-based form which must be printed, signed and mailed to the IRS at a physical PO Box address.

For your convenience, IES has partnered with Sprintax, an online tax preparation service that will help current international students & scholars complete the federal tax forms to then print and mail. The discounted cost for the Sprintax 2017 tax service access code offered through Southeast is $10.

See our ‘Needs Assistance Filing’ section below for tax session and access code information.

State Tax Filing Requirements

If you are a nonresident alien who is required to file a federal Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ with Missouri source income of $600 or more, you must file one of the following forms.

Note: For proper functionality of the above Missouri forms, utilize Internet Explorer browser and Adobe Reader for PDF viewer.

For income received from other states, students should to contact the Department of Revenue for that state.

State tax returns can be prepared by Sprintax Tax Preparation for an additional fee. Students can also choose to complete the state returns on their own at no cost. IES advises students to use a service, if they would need state tax filing assistance.

What is Sprintax?

Sprintax is a nonresident alien tax preparation service that assists you in completing the necessary paper-based federal filing forms for you to print and send to the IRS. It will also determine your “Substantial Presence Test” to confirm if you are a nonresident alien.

To use the Sprintax Tax Preparation service and obtain an access code, registration is required. To register, complete the registration form located in the "Need Assistance" section below.

Attend a Tax Lab Session Sprintax Tax Preparation service will be offered for those with income. The discounted cost for the Sprintax 2017 tax service access code offered through Southeast is $10. Sprintax access codes will be distributed after registration.

Registration is required as computer stations are limited. Sessions will take place in Kent Library, KL100 / near Textbook Rental.

To register for an access code and/or tax lab session, click here.

  • Monday, March 26th, 1:30pm
  • Thursday, March 29th, 2:00pm
  • Tuesday, April 3rd, 1:00pm
  • Thursday, April 12th, 1:00pm

What do I bring to the Tax Lab Session?

You will need to bring your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, dates of entry and departure from the U.S. for the previous six years, as well as all tax documents received. Tax documents include W-2, Form 1042-S, and/or 1099 forms.

Note, Form 1042-S is filed by March 15th to nonresident aliens who have requested to take advantage of a signed tax treaty.

Disclaimer: International Education and Services does not provide certified public accounting services. As a sponsor of F and J programs, IES informs current students and scholars of maintaining status and their civic responsibilities while in the USA, including taxes. For more information about taxation regulations in the USA, visit the Internal Revenue Services’ website at and/or contact a certified public accountant knowledgeable of nonresident taxes.


International Village Admin Building 101 – Located at:
1025 N. Sprigg St.
Cape Girardeau, MO

International Education and Services
One University Plaza, MS2000
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701

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